Dispatches From The Geeks

News and Announcements from the MCS Systems Group

Network performance still degraded to MCS systems, however, all things should be reachable. Will send an all-clear when everything’s back to normal.

Written by Craig Stacey

May 9, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Connectivity to some HPC resources intermittent due to ongoing network issues. More updates as situation changes…

Written by Craig Stacey

May 9, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Network update

The router is back up, and has been for a while, but we’re still tracking the issue that caused the reboot in the first place. So things should be working, but network performance is degraded at the moment until we isolate the problem host.

Written by Craig Stacey

May 9, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Network Update

The MCS router’s configuration was lost in the reboot. We are in the process of reloading it from a current backup. Things should be back within the hour, unless something goes very wrong.

Written by Craig Stacey

May 9, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Network Problems continue

The MCS network router was unresponsive and is in the process of being rebooted. Most wired MCS-hosted machines are unavailable, except for those hosted in building 221 (web server, mail server, etc.). Login and compute nodes are unreachable at the moment.

Will send updates as we have them.

Written by Craig Stacey

May 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Network and NFS slowness

Hello everyone,

There is currently an issue causing higher than usual network latency, and slow NFS filesystem access.

Because of this access to MCS servers, and usability of MCS linux desktops may be affected.

We will be sending a status update when we have more information.

Daniel Murphy-Olson
Systems Administrator
Mathematics & Computer Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory

Written by Craig Stacey

May 9, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Upcoming IT Maintenance Weekend (May 10-12)

This coming weekend is a CIS IT Maintenance weekend. Please see the details below. The network outage window is 4 hours, though actual interruptions will be brief and sporadic. Also note the MySQL databases, blogs, and wikis listed for Friday are ANL/CIS-provided and does not apply to those supplied by MCS Systems.

Thank you.

Systems & services affected

  • Fri. Evening:
    • MySQL databases, webapps, wikis, Sharepoint, wireless networks (brief rolling outages), building networks: 201 & 222, select Windows virtual servers (see RFCs for detailed list), blogs, wikis
    • Important: ALL land-line telephones, analog & VOIP, will be down Fri. evening 18:00-19:00. Users should dial 630-252-1911 in case of emergency.
  • Saturday:
    • All laboratory network connectivity, sporadic interruptions from 08:00 – 12:00. This will effect both onsite connectivity and remote access.
    • Building networks: 214 & 240, wireless networks (brief rolling outages)
  • Sunday:
    • No planned activities – systems nominal

Things that will not be affected [1]

  • Email and calendar services
  • Divisional IT services

[1] While not directly affected, most all services will suffer short periods of unavailability Sat. morning as a result of the network maintenance.

Written by Craig Stacey

May 6, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Email phishing attempt

I could write more on this, but Hunter’s message to his group covers the salient points. Thanks to all who reported it.

> All,
> Two of you have reported the rather sad phishing attempt included below. (Thank you for reporting this to me – please feel free to > include cyber@anl.gov in future reports).
> Naturally none of you will fall for this kind of thing, but for the benefit of our newer members I thought I’d go over a couple points that give this kind of thing away: >
> 1. While it says “Argonne National Laboratory” the users return email has nothing to do with the lab. (in this case atlanticbb.net)
> 2. The grammar and spelling is terrible. While not all lab communications were written by Shakespeare, the staff here are generally far more eloquent than this. > 3. The URL you are directed to go to has no relation to any lab web address.
> 4. The word login is hyphenated – this is almost a dead giveaway that its bogus as the phishers know that any incoming email with the word “login” spelled correctly will probably get hung up in the spam/phish filters. >
> Unfortunately on occasion the lab will use outside vendors/tools/collaboration sites that are not “anl.gov” or a related site and are yet legitimate. I can assure you that this makes the sysadmins in general and the cyber security folks in particular very unhappy. >
> Naturally if you ever are in doubt about something being legit please feel free to ask any of the sysadmins around – we’ll either know already from other reports or we’ll find out for you. >
>> From: “Argonne National Laboratory” >> Date: April 25, 2013, 17:27:24 CDT
>> To: undisclosed-recipients:;
>> Subject: Hello
>> Your two incoming mails is on pending status due to our recent database upgrade Click,
>> [redacted] to lo-gin for online account upgrade and await Argonne National Laboratory for response,we >> apologies for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. >>
>> Sign
>> Ercoli Tracy Lavaan
>> 9700 S. Cass Avenue
>> Argonne IL 60439
>> Phone:630 252-2000
>> Argonne National Laboratory

Written by Craig Stacey

April 25, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Displays in 3178 and 4172 back in operation.

The displays in 3178 and 4172 are back in operation. The display in 3178 has some improvements made, 4172 will get the same ones once the requisite components arrive.

Instructions for using the displays can be found here:


Improvements you’ll notice:

* Upgraded HDMI over Ethernet modules mean true 1080p HDMI via the cable from the table, near-instantaneous screen updates (faster than AirPlay mirroring). * Ability to display VGA output via HD15 cable from the table.
* Autosensing switch to switch between HDMI and VGA depending on which has signal.
* When HDMI source is taken away, the image is now blanked rather than a freezeframe of the last image seen.


Written by Craig Stacey

April 23, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Phishing mail just received

If you received the message below, don’t open it. You probably know that, but it never hurts to be safe. It’s been reported to the cyber office.

> Argonne National Laboratory
> 9700 S. Cass Avenue
> Argonne, IL 60439
> Deal All ,
> a private message have been sent to you by your old friend who wish to get back in-touch with you. Please use the Anl Private contact viewer to lo-gin and view the message from your old friend, and possibly contact him/her after logging in. >
> [redacted]
> You can also copy the above lo-gin link to your browser in order to lo-gin and view your private message. >
> Best Regards
> Mrs, Glory Williams
> Anl Information Center
> © 2013 Argonne National Laboratory.

Written by Craig Stacey

April 12, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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